Student Assessment Update: February 11, 2014- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Student Assessment Update: February 11, 2014

MCAS Training Sessions Rescheduled

Because of the recent winter storms, the Department has canceled and rescheduled the Spring Test Administration sessions scheduled for Springfield (February 5) and Worcester (February 6), as follows:

SpringfieldWednesday, February 128:30 a.m. - noon
WorcesterThursday, February 138:30 a.m. - noon

Please read the cancellation notices posted at for more information.

ACCESS for ELLs: End-of-Testing Activities

Please be aware that ACCESS for ELLs test materials must be returned to MetriTech, the test contractor, no later than Friday, February 14. Other important reminders about end-of-testing activities have been posted at in the memorandum entitled "ACCESS for ELLs Assessment Update: End of Testing and Other Activities."

PARCC Training Sessions

PARCC training sessions for districts participating in the spring 2014 field test administration will be held later this month. Although some of the information that will be presented at the trainings will be available through online training modules, the Department strongly recommends participation in a training session to help districts prepare appropriately for the field test administration.

Two individuals per district may attend: the district education technology coordinator and the district PARCC test coordinator (i.e., the superintendent's designee who will then train all other individuals in the district). For the conference call session, districts may invite several additional staff members-including school-level staff-to participate together in a room with a speakerphone. Principals and school staff in the district should contact the district office if they would like to participate in the conference call.

Below is a schedule of the training sessions.

Monday, February 24Conference call
(Note: not toll-free)
NA8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, February 25Face-to-face sessionNorthampton8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 27Face-to-face sessionDanvers8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Topics for the sessions include:

  • technology set-up
  • using PearsonAccess to coordinate test administration
  • accessibility features and accommodations
  • PARCC policies and procedures for test coordinators

Registration Instructions

As space is limited, participants must register by Friday, February 14, by completing the registration form posted at When completing the registration online, you will be prompted to print a confirmation of your registration. Please note that only confirmed registrants will be guaranteed access to conference call and admission to face-to-face sessions.

Spring 2014 PARCC Sample Items

PARCC sample test questions are now available on the technology platform that students will use when taking the field test later this spring. These questions can found on the "Sample Items" tab on the PARCC Web page at

If you have questions regarding the PARCC field test or need further support, please contact the PARCC Help Center at 888-493-9888 (Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.) or You may also contact the Department at or 781-338-3625.

Important Upcoming Dates

  • February 25: November 2013 retest Parent/Guardian reports received by districts
  • February 28: last day for schools participating in the PARCC paper-based EOY Field Test to upload the demographic data file to Pearson
  • March 3-March 10: MCAS March Retests in ELA and Mathematics
  • March 20: last day for schools participating in the PARCC online EOY Field Test to upload the demographic data file to Pearson

About This Update

The Student Assessment Update provides important information about the state's testing programs. The update is scheduled to be distributed to schools on a bimonthly basis (less frequently in the summer). We welcome your feedback at

Principals, MCAS test coordinators, and ELL directors receive this update via email based on contact information that your school submitted to the Department. To change your email address or to add another staff member, please follow the instructions below:

  • Public school districts, public schools, charter public schools, collaboratives, approved special education schools: Submit the new email address to your District-Level Directory Administrator, who is responsible for submitting contact information to the Department. A list of Directory Administrators is posted at
  • MCAS test sites, adult education programs, out-of-state schools, SEIS-DYS programs: Submit an email address (along with your District and School Code) to the Department at

Last Updated: February 19, 2014

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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